With warmer summer months just around the corner, we questioned Dr. Sreedhar Krishna, Consultant Dermatologist from skindoc to get expert advice about the importance of sun protection, including which SPF to choose, how much to put on, how often to reapply, as well as other tips and tricks on how to ensure the perfect application. Read on to find out more…
What are the dangers of not wearing sun cream?
Sun cream is designed to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. If you do not wear sun cream and end up getting caught out, you run the risk of sustaining irreversible damage.
How often / in what situations should I wear sun cream?
It all depends on the UV index which you can obtain from the local UV forecast. If the index is greater than 3, it would be wise to wear sunscreen. This is even more important during the hours of 11am to 3pm. If you already have signs of sun damage, you may wish to wear sunscreen at all times when outdoors.
Additionally, some dermatologists advocate using sunscreen while indoors to protect against the blue light emitted from electronic devices such as your computer or smartphone - the jury is still out on this one though.
What SPF should I choose, and why?
How much sun cream should I use for face / body application?
A rule of thumb to ensure adequate coverage for the face is to use half a teaspoon-sized quantity. If you don't have a teaspoon to compare against, enough cream to cover the length of one finger is approximately the same.
For the entire body, the minimum quantity required is 6 teaspoon's worth. This is made up:
- Face – half teaspoon
- Arm – half teaspoon each (1 teaspoon total)
- Leg– one teaspoon each (2 teaspoons total)
- Chest and tummy – one teaspoon
- Back – one teaspoon
- Rest of body (e.g. hands, feet, ears, neck, and on your bottom) – half teaspoon
Do you have any tips on how to cover hard to reach spots e.g. middle of back?
Make a friend? Failing that, there are clever devices that can help you reach those tricky spots.
If you're on a budget, one smart lifehack is to apply a zigzag of sunscreen to a cut sheet of clingfilm. Wipe this clingfilm in a lateral motion across your back as if you're towelling dry. Job done!
How often should I reapply sun cream?
At least every two hours and more often if you're sweating profusely or swimming. This remains the case regardless of the SPF!
Do you have any tips on how to reapply sun cream over makeup without ruining it?
You can brush a powder sunscreen over the face - this will blend with your skin tone and in fact helps lock your make up into place.
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended as a substitute for medical advice and should not replace the relationship that exists between a patient and their existing healthcare provider. Cavendish Online are not liable or responsible for the accuracy of the advice provided by third party experts, nor for the content or operation of any third-party websites, webpages, or resources which have been linked to within this article. *Advice and information correct as of 27/04/2021